(click on chart for larger image)
I have lived through a few bubbles. The first was when the Hunt Brothers of Texas tried to corner the silver market. I have seen tech bubbles, housing bubbles, mortgage derivative bubbles. They all have the same characteristics -- a meteoric rise in value and a corresponding crash.
In the past year BitCoin rose to over a thousand dollars US and crashed. Exchanges were either hacked like Mt. Gox or were shut down by Federal authorities. BitCoin was a bubble.
Will it rise again in value? It may, but it's performance over the past three months don't bode well. The technical trading indicators still show that it has some way to fall in value.
Recently in the SXSW tech conference, BitCoin tried to re-brand itself as a sort of a MasterCard or Visa method of payment rather than a currency, it it really didn't work.
I think that some form of cryptocurrency may be around for a long time, but it may never seriously give fiat currrency a run for its money unless there are changes that may it less hackable (Mt. Gox was hacked and lost millions).
I am a techie and what gets me, is that BitCoin is supposed to contain the entire history of that BitCoin embedded in it, so if a BitCoin is stolen, presumably that would be flagged in its history. Until issues like this are cleared up, BitCoin cannot be taken seriously on a wide scale.